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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Adelaide, SA
    Posts
    145

    Default Forbes Bench Drill Press FDB-16mm 12 speed (1976)

    Long time lurker, first time poster here.

    I have acquired a Forbes re-badged drill press recently.

    Forbes Bench Drill
    Model:FDB-16mm
    12-Speed
    MFG. Date: 1976
    Made in Taiwan

    I am attaching here a photo of a similar model posted by someone on the wood working forum (although mine has the round table rather than the square table you see here): https://www.woodworkforums.com/f155/...ll-press-67559

    drill.jpg

    I did not manage to take a photo of the complete drill press as I had to break it apart to be able to transport it alone one late Monday night. But here are some photos of the lot and its all there. I have started to slowly pull more stuff apart.

    1.jpg
    3.jpg

    Below the dirt and grime there is very little surface rust, almost no play in the quill/spindle and not much wear on the machine.

    I do own a few hobby grade machines (referred to as boat anchors on some forums) but based on that limited experience I will say the drill press has lived a good life and has been used carefully enough as there are only a few shallow drilled holes in the case iron round table.

    Since I have the drill in parts at the moment, I am going to give it a quick clean, degrease, clean the surface rust on the column and spindle handles, lubricate and put it back together. I might put in new wiring while I'm at it.

    The drill press of course has a couple of concerns :

    1- The spindle/pulley/belt top cover is missing because the owner took it off as it was in the way of an overhanging shelf.

    Most of these are generic machines rebadged and sold across the world in the past however the odds of finding a top cover is highly unlikely (it will probably cost me more than what I paid for the drill). I do not have the panel beating or welding skills to top cover out of sheet metal.

    2- The drill press was converted to single belt/ 5 speed by removing the entire center pulley assembly because he was tired of changing the belts. I would like to restore the drill back to the original 12 speed configuration to take advantage of the lower speeds for metal.

    The step pulley is the easy part as I assume it will have the same dimensions as the motor pulley. But the eccentric pulley shaft will be a problem to source and I have no reference dimensions but I can guess shaft mounting on the spindle head (13.5mm) and the other end can be adjusted for pulley bore size.

    2.jpg

    The original owner lost these parts somewhere over the last 40 years. I can imagine how that can happen.

    I also have no clue what the rough belt sizes are for the original 3 pulley / 12 speed system.

    I am assuming Hare & Forbes Machineryhouse are not even worth asking for parts for something they sold in the late 70's or early 80's.

    Any hints/tips on where I can look?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Murray Bridge S Aust.
    Age
    70
    Posts
    5,268

    Default

    Hi, You could try putting an advert in the wanted section, as someone MAY have one around that came with an assortment of other Bits'N'Pieces.
    You may need to specify the overall length, height and width, as it may not come off a Forbes machine, but a generic unit.
    HTH
    Kryn
    To grow old is mandatory, growing up is optional.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Adelaide, SA
    Posts
    145

    Default

    I will definitely post an advert in the wanted section.

    The drill press without the spindle belt top cover is 1 meter tall.

    The measurements of the spindle/pulley base cover is approximately 56cm in length and 19mm wide.

    The center or intermediate 5 4 step pulley is similar to the image below but I have no idea what the dimensions will be:

    2C017AA6-BC9D-45D9-9DC2-7561B81AEF88.jpg
    There is a bearing at the base of this pulley based on photos I have seen online.

    These are fairly generic drill presses and most parts should be interchangeable.

    The possibility of anyone having a center/ intermediate pulley assembly and willing to part with it is possibly a wood worker who does not require such low speeds and is tired of changing belts.
    Last edited by kafie1980; 18th Aug 2022 at 05:32 PM. Reason: Typo for pulley steps

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Mackay North Qld
    Posts
    6,329

    Default

    Hi kafie1980,
    Welcome to the forums,.

    I am a bit curious as your join date says 2019.

    Its likely as was mentioned if you post some dimensions of your drill press, maybe people can help if they have available bits and pieces.

    My drill press is a 12 speed 16mm capacity drill press made in Taiwan in 1989.

    The dimension on my belt cover is approx 563 x 190W x 75H

    The rear end is radiused and the front could be described as squared off with lightly radiused corners. It has a round table.

    My belt sizes are A21 and A24.

    Given your dimensions are the same I shall post pics and more information re pulley sizes should your dimensions be close.
    The belt cover need not necessarily be of metal .If you are a woodie,you could possibly knock one up from ply.

    We will see how it all goes. Can somebody advise me on how pulleys are measured ? Is it by the OD or by the groove diameters?
    If it all seems to match I can post photos and dimensions.


    Welcome again kafe1980.
    Grahame

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Adelaide, SA
    Posts
    145

    Default

    Yes, I joined 2019 and often use this forum for local info and reading through experiences shared by regular members.

    Your belt cover dimensions and descriptions seem fairly spot on. Probably made from the same factory in Taiwan.

    Thanks for the belt sizes.

    Do not worry about going into the details of measuring the center/intermediate pulley if its roughly the same dimension/size as the motor pulley which I assume it is.

    I am more interested in knowing dimensions on the eccentric pulley shaft and the bearing size (in case I find one online or if I decide to make one).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Mackay North Qld
    Posts
    6,329

    Default

    I measured up- sort of- with a bow caliper.
    Each of the pulleys is slighty different in diameter to its neighbour.

    The pulleys are 4 step pulleys are per the single pulley pic.

    Starting at the motor end ,the smallest diameter and getting progressively larger as you move up to the drill spindle.

    The mounting shaft is a bit of 16mm round bar turned to accept a 32 mm Od bearing the Id is harder to measure as there is a small machined taper on the reduced diameter shaft- my guesstimate is about 12mm diam.

    The top of the pulley is counter bored and the bearing is retained by an external circlip on the shaft.

    Pic loading is a PITA at the moment . Will try later.

    My intermediate pulley mount shaft arrangement is not standard. I changed that to work with a hinged motor so belt changes do not take much effort.

    cheers Grahame

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Adelaide, SA
    Posts
    145

    Default

    Thanks for the info on the mounting shaft dimensions.

    If and when you some spare time, kindly measure the length of the shaft from center of the bearing to the end that mounts to the drill head.

    For some reason my posts are being moderated and require approval before I can see them. I have already replied to your previous post but I am unable to see it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Norwood-ish, Adelaide
    Age
    57
    Posts
    6,212

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kafie1980 View Post
    ...I am assuming Hare & Forbes Machineryhouse are not even worth asking for parts for something they sold in the late 70's or early 80's.
    Hare & Forbes is actually the wrong Forbes in this case - there is a Forbes on Port Rd (as you are in Adelaide) that has that same logo. The result is the same; they would not have parts for it but perhaps of interest.
    While you have the drill press apart, trace the lip of the bottom cover onto some MDF or cardboard. I doubt you will find a complete one but with that outline and aheight, a cover should not be hard to whip up.

    Michael

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Adelaide, SA
    Posts
    145

    Default

    You are probably right about the Forbes logo being different from Hare & Forbes. I just assumed it was a merger but they did sell similar equipment in the past which is why I may have confused them to be the same.

    I will trace the outline for measurements and think over this at a later stage and model it up in CAD for reference. This is the last thing on my to do list.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Mackay North Qld
    Posts
    6,329

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kafie1980 View Post
    For some reason my posts are being moderated and require approval before I can see them. I have already replied to your previous post but I am unable to see it.
    By post count, the system "sees" you as a new member. It applies moderation to a new member who has under 10 posts and posts a photo or a link.

    It is something built in which only works intermittently. Just a security thing-nothing to worry about.
    Grahame

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Mackay North Qld
    Posts
    6,329

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kafie1980 View Post
    I will definitely post an advert in the wanted section.

    The drill press without the spindle belt top cover is 1 meter tall.

    The measurements of the spindle/pulley base cover is approximately 56cm in length and 19mm wide.

    The center or intermediate 5 4 step pulley is similar to the image below but I have no idea what the dimensions will be:

    2C017AA6-BC9D-45D9-9DC2-7561B81AEF88.jpg
    There is a bearing at the base of this pulley based on photos I have seen online.

    These are fairly generic drill presses and most parts should be interchangeable.

    The possibility of anyone having a center/ intermediate pulley assembly and willing to part with it is possibly a wood worker who does not require such low speeds and is tired of changing belts.
    Sorry ,
    This flat bar part is not possible as it is the part I modified to work in with the hinged motor tensioner system.

    The flat bar bar is extended to both sides of the pulley mount shaft and is slotted and moves back and forward . It has been quite a few years but from my shaky memory the original flat bar pivoted on a bolt hole towards the end of the flat bar. Once belt change was made it had to tightened up again. The whole change speed business was long winded, fiddily and irritating.
    I looked long and hard but could not find anything to work really well until I made the hinge for the motor.. Currently I can change a speed in a bit over 90 secs.
    I am suffering from a rotator cuff injury at this time so won't be able to do any disassembly work until the arm heals.
    Grahame

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Adelaide, SA
    Posts
    145

    Default

    No dramas. Wishing you a speedy recovery from you injury.

    I am taking this stuff slowly since I have a bench top milling machine if I need to drill stuff.

    I can even make the idler pulley assembly but a pulley and bearing (assuming I know the exact size/dimensions) may cost me more than what I paid for the entire drill press.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Auckland, NZ
    Posts
    31

    Default

    What about replacing the motor with a 3ph one and using a VFD if you can't find or make the intermediate step pulley? Use a 6 pole 900 rpm motor and overdrive the speed for the maximum range and bottom end.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Adelaide, SA
    Posts
    145

    Default

    A 3 phase motor with VFD conversion is not a bad idea but only if I had a 3 phase motor with the right specifications laying around.

    The amount of work it will take me to do such a modification will be far more than making the intermediate step pulley assembly.

    Another concern is the I am trying to keep the drill press as original as possible. Yes its a cheap Taiwanese drill press but impressive in that its a few years older than me

    I have been putting a lot if hours in this since Friday and the cleanup has been hard work but its getting there. I have no plans to paint it.

    3B9E6ECF-F943-4FA6-B138-BA94784A7523.jpg

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    137

    Default

    With regard to the missing belt cover. If you dont mind it not being original, you could simply make a new one by forgetting about the rounded pressed style of original. Make a template of the base then cut out a top section from sheet metal to that shape. Then cut a strip of metal the height you need to clear the pulleys and roll that around the top section to form the sides. weld in place and fit hinges. I have made numerous belt guards this way for machines over the years.

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